Let us think of the crucifixion of Jesus. He is nailed on the cross, his body is bloody, he awaits the anguish and the death. On his right and on his left there are two other crosses, with two thieves, both offenders of the common right. The sun is to the zenith, Jesus is thirsty, all is desolation, and pain. The scribes, the Pharisees, defy him dying. Even the thief of his left causes him. He insults him.
The thief of the right-hand side finds the respite and the nobleness of heart to say fine words to his neighbour. He cannot help him, but he tells him fine words.
Jesus says to him:
Today you will be with me in the paradise.
Jesus gave him this single privilege to enter in the paradise with Him, who is either God and man, privilege which neither Isaiah, neither Moses, nor Noah will not have like privilege. The thief received for himself only, this single privilege.
Those fine words of the thief could soften the suffocating atmosphere, of spite, of venom, which reigned on Golgotha. Like a miracle, the fine words of affection, of confidence, of compassion, changed suddenly all, and transformed Golgotha – space vitiated by iniquity, by cruelty, by revenge, – into an anteroom of the paradise.
The thief did not remain closed in the world, isolated in its self-centredness, he became that which has seen, which has recognized, which comforted Jesus, who took his defence, by his fine words.
We also, can make the good deeds by giving our alms in the form of the fine words of encouragement, of confidence, of compassion, of participation in the distress of the others.
Never let us lose the occasion to make the good deeds by the word which brings the moral comfort to the suffering ones, to the poor, to the old men.
Let us be like the good thief.